What happened to the Jaspers? The team from Riverdale was 6-2 in the MAAC and in first place. Now, after losses to Canisius (Feb. 8) and Niagara (Feb. 10), Manhattan is tied for second in the conference with the Purple Eagles. Normally one of the more prolific scoring point guards, Mugsy Green has see-sawed in his last five games with 3 games of 5 points or less. On the upnote, guard Luis Flores is peaking and is second in the league in scoring at 20 points per game. He’s been the Jaspers leading scorer in each of the last five games and scored a career-high 33 points against St. Peter’s on Jan. 30.
Marist-Rider, Both in First…Coincidence?
We think not, but both of these teams took eerily similar routes to achieving the top spot in the conference. Rider (10-3, MAAC) is on a 7-game tear, including wins over the Jaspers, ever-pesky Fairfield and Niagara. Marist, also 10-3, has won 7 of their last 8, beat Niagara, split with Manhattan and also knocked off Fairfield. Yes, the similarities are startling…and you never see these two teams in the same room together. Except, of course, when they play each other. Okay, so much for my conspiracy theory. Now about this Area 51 place…
Iona’s Solomon Brown was named the MAAC Rookie of the Week, significant because his performance against Manhattan led to the Jaspers’ jilt to second place. Brown, a guard from LA, was all over the stat sheet, scoring 10 points and recording 7 assists, 3 rebounds and 2 blocks. Brown is fourth on the MAAC’s assist leaders list with 3.71 per game.
Upcoming Must See Games
Marist at Fairfield on Valentine’s Day. Marist looks to hold on to at least a share of the MAAC lead, and Fairfield always plays up to their opponents. Point guard matchup is one of the best this year: The finesse and precision dishing of Marist’s Sean Kennedy and the streetball quickness of the Stag’s Tyqwuan Goode.
Also keep your eye on Manhattan-Rider on the 15th. With a win, Manhattan can climb back into first and Coach Bobby Gonzalez will howl with demonic laughter. Or at least cheer a lot. The Broncs won the first game 72-68 in the Bronx.